A workout you can do from the comfort of your bed

If you’re still in bed and reading this, don’t get up. There’s plenty of time for you to fit exercise into

If you’re still in bed and reading this, don’t get up. There’s plenty of time for you to fit exercise into your daily routine with five simple exercises, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your mattress.

Bent knee raise

A strong and healthy core will keep you moving for years to come and the bent knee raise is one move that can strengthen both your upper and lower core. It will improve your ability to get out of bed, rise from a chair and maintain your standing posture.

  1. Lying face up on your bed with your knees bent, tighten your abdominal muscles
  2. Lift your knees one at a time towards your chest. Hold for 5 seconds
  3. Return both legs to the floor
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Remember to exhale during the upward movement phase and inhale during the downward movement phase. In through your nose. Out through your mouth. Place your palms on the bed beside you for support.

Back extension

If you want to stretch and extend your lower and mid-back muscles this exercise will help. It can even help with mid-back pain associated with postural strain, which means it could be easier for you to maintain good posture while sitting or standing.

  1. Lie face down on your bed with your hands palm down by your face
  2. Bring your head up slowly and arch your back
  3. Push up to your elbows
  4. Return to your starting position
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Again, you want to exhale through your mouth during the upward movement phase and inhale through your nose during the downward movement phase.

Be sure to maintain your hips on the bed.

Hands and knees

Sometimes called the ‘Cat and Camel’, this exercise works the entire core and improves overall balance and stability. This exercise stretches and extends your lower and mid-back muscles too, but it’s also a good exercise for loosening the pelvic area.

  1. Get on your hands and knees
  2. Keep your back in a neutral position (think of your back as a flat table)
  3. Round your back up and bring your head down, so that you look like a cat arching its back
  4. Then reverse the action by allowing your back to relaxing, forming the valley between a camels two humps
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Keep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Tighten your tummy muscles and place your pelvis in a neutral position at the beginning.

If you have sore wrists, you can do this activity by lowering yourself onto your elbows.

Arm raises on your back

This little activity can improve the range of motion in your upper back and shoulders. If you correctly stabilise the lower back you can also strengthen your postural muscles, including your abs.

  1. Lying on your back, bend your knees
  2. Keep your lower back in neutral and your arms at your sides
  3. Begin by lifting your left arm off the bed to an upright position
  4. Return it to the bed
  5. Use the same lift and return action for your right arm
  6. Repeat 10 times with each arm.

It’s important not to twist or rotate your back. Keep this movement smooth and controlled.

Remember to breath.

Leg extensions

This is a good exercise to stretch and extend your lower back and hip muscles. You can also use it to strengthen the pelvis and leg muscles, and buttocks.

  1. Get on your hands and knees and place your pelvis in a neutral position
  2. Bring your left leg back, extending it as far as you are comfortable
  3. Return to the start position
  4. Do the same movement with your right leg
  5. Repeat with both legs 10 times.

Try to keep your hips as still as possible as this will assist with stabilising and strengthening your pelvis.

If you suffer from arthritic hands, you might want to try doing this exercise from your elbows.

Remember to breathe.

You should always talk to your general practitioner or health professional before starting any exercise regime.

What types of exercise do you do on a daily basis? How do you feel when you are active?

  1. Frank  

    I do core exercises most mornings before I get out of bed – my partner goes to work before me so rises just before me – so while she’s in the bathroom/washing her hair – I do :-

    twists – left knee leg over to the left, left shoulder over the right as far as I can – bounce about 5 times – often something in my spine will click back into place – then reverse direction

    on my back bicycle my legs in the air while lifting my arms from flat on the bed to clap my hands – 60 times / 1 minute – this strengthens my core FRONT stomach/arm and leg muscles

    turn over onto my stomach and lift my legs in the air and my arms off the bed – vaguely bicycling my legs in the air – 60 times / 1 minute – this strengthens my core BACK stomach/arm and leg muscles

    then I get up – fill/turn on the electric jug – after putting away the dry dishes from the sink drainer, and in between topping up my breakfast coffee filter twice (I use a big 600ml mug) I stand on one leg – each in turn – for 30 seconds each while stretching my arms out straight and pressing my hands together and slowly up and down full range of movement, then repeat but clasping fingers pulling hands apart, then repeat turning hands one facing down/one up to exercise one bicep/one tricep, reverse and repeat – then repeat all that on the other leg – about 30 seconds a side while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew and my rolled oats to soften in the bowl from just-covered with boiling water.

    then I go to the lounge room carpet – and do a yoga Salute to the Sun – about 9 movements – you can google it – I toss in 7 pushups after the plank since an Indian guy said ‘yoga is just stretching’ (implying no muscle strength-building).

    Total exercise time – about 10 minutes in the morning – but mostly incidental – while I’m waiting for something else – so very efficient.

    Then of course living in the inner city I walk to work, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, parks, libraries – so I get that free exercise as well.

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